Bayer invests $150m to expand its biologics development

By Ben Hargreaves contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Miroslav_1)
(Image: Getty/Miroslav_1)

Related tags: Bayer, Cell culture, China

Bayer will build a 40,000-square-foot cell culture facility to bolster its capacity to develop therapies primarily focused on oncology and cardiology.

The site will be built at Bayer’s Berkeley campus in the US, with the aim of providing the capacity to support Bayer’s portfolio in biologics.

“This investment allows Bayer to expand our biologics development and launch capabilities, as we advance our R&D programs internally and through strategic collaborations,”​ said Wolfram Carius, EVP and head of Bayer Pharmaceuticals Product Supply.

The facility is projected to be ready for clinical production in late 2021. In total, the company will invest $150m (€133m) in the Cell Culture Technology Center.

The California campus currently houses Bayer’s recombinant Factor VIII manufacturing centre, which produces haemophilia A treatments.

Bayer’s commitment to invest in the campus represents another shift in the site’s fortunes; in 2015, Bayer had invested $100m​ in developing a product testing site related to its haemophilia operations, only for the company to pull back in this area last year, by cutting 227 positions at the campus​.

According to local press​, the site will create an additional 100 positions.

In terms of the creation of the cell culture centre, Bayer will collaborate on the design and construction work with Fluor and will utilise GE Healthcare’s FlexFactory technology within the centre.

Judy Chou, global head of Bayer Biotech outlined that the facility will employ automation, digital capabilities, and single-use bioprocessing technology, alongside both partners, to create “flexible, scalable facilities for the future.”

For GE Healthcare, it represents further interest in its FlexFactory technology, which has so far seen strong uptake in China.

Previously, the contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) had announced three companies that had chosen to employ the semi-automated platform in the country​.

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